Arin Adamson
By Arin Adamson | Web Dev | April 28, 2015

How to prepare your website for Mobile-Geddon

If you’ve just started hearing about Google’s coming “Mobile-Geddon” update, you may be freaking out right now. Google’s new update deals with adding mobile user-friendliness scores into the search algorithm and ranking websites who are user-friendly on mobile devices higher than those that are not. This is a wonderful update, but some website owners may be caught off guard. After all, not everyone has time in their day to pay attention to Google press releases. While there are a lot of upset website owners, complaining about the update isn’t going help. Website owners need to focus on providing the best experience possible for their users and part of that experience today is mobile.

While it may not be apparent in your website’s analytics, mobile platforms have quickly overtaken desktop in terms of internet data usage. It only makes sense that search engines will need to provide their users mobile-friendly websites first. This creates a better experience for their users, and user experience is everything – it can keep people coming back, or it could be the main reason you can’t retain traffic. User experience should be the number one priority of any website owner. If your website is not optimized (read: usable) for any device that can access the internet, the user’s web experience is suffering. Websites optimized for any type of internet accessible device are user-friendly and the demand for these websites is increasingly higher than websites without mobile capabilities. Mobile-Geddon is just an instance of search engines doing what they do best, providing their users websites they want.

Now that you understand why the Mobile-Geddon update is a necessity, you are probably wondering where to start. You could take a couple of routes: a brand-new responsive design with a complete website overhaul, convert your current design to a responsive design, or set-up a mobile website. Personally, I recommend one of the responsive design routes. Read my article “Mobile Websites vs. Responsive Websites” to find out why. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with the term responsive and what a responsive design is, I recommend reading my article, “What is Responsive Design?“. Once you understand which route you would like to take, you’ll need to contact a web developer. Here at Digital Reach, we provide web development services that include responsive design conversions and full responsive redesigns. Make sure you find the right developer who provides you a fair price and quality work! As a web developer who often reworks websites built by other developers, I can safely say many web developers out there are sloppy. View their portfolio, then get a second opinion on their portfolio from a web savvy guy before you make your decision.

Maybe you are questioning whether or not you already have a website ready for Mobile-Geddon? There are many ways to make sure your website is ready for the update. While this Google Page Speed Insight tool is typically used for analyzing page speed, you can also use it to check your mobile friendliness score. Really, this tool is all about user-friendliness, as both page speed and mobile optimization are at the center of the issue. Additionally, you could just bring the website up on your phone and test the usability there. If everything looks small and isn’t sized properly for a mobile device, then your website is not optimized for mobile devices. However if everything looks properly sized and your website is easy to use on a mobile device, then you should be prepared for the Mobile-Geddon update. If you don’t have a smart phone to test your website, go to your website in your internet browser and decrease the width of the internet browser window. If your website adjust or responds properly to the width of the browser, congratulations, you own a responsive website! You can decrease your browser window as small as it will possible go to see how your website will appear on a mobile device. If you have a website that includes a mobile version, reducing the width of your browser window probably will not work. Instead you should use an online phone emulator to check your mobile website.

In conclusion, if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, you are already behind. Google’s update is being rolled out as I type this article. Don’t give up though! Better late than never is true in this case. Get started on converting your website to increase user friendliness and beat out those competitors that may be left in the update’s dust.

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